Grover's Corner could be any little town. And, the townspeople could go by any names... Then, why is Our Town so popular (and so unforgettable)?
Thornton Wilder gives us stark, sparse reality with Our Town. Instead of focusing on props and all the other ornamentation of the stage, Wilder gives us Grover's Corner--the lives of the townspeople, hopes and dreams. We are drawn to the characters: to George and Emily. How could simple lives mean so much? How could there be any transcendence in the moments of a few characters upon the stage? Why do we care?
Perhaps, Our Town touches us because most of "real" life is made up of a profusion of the small, unremarkable moments. How often do we know when we are experiencing life that we are partaking in memorable moments, some of which we will fondly remember for years to come? A simple look, a touch, a conversation--all that simplicity may come to mean so much.
In this play, we read: "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?--every, every minute?"
Cover Art © HarperCollins.